Published on March 24th, 2015 | by Clarissa Waldron


Nightjar and Tullamore Dew – Busking Unbarred

Last Monday night we were invited into Old Street’s finest cocktail emporium, Nightjar, to celebrate the eve of St. Patrick’s Day and the launch of Tullamore Dew’s Busking Unbarred project.

Currently local governments are introducing legislation which will control aspects surrounding the way buskers perform, where and when. Through the Busking Unbarred initiative, the Irish whiskey company aims to help and support buskers across the UK and Ireland to gain recognition, secure gigs and promote the importance of buskers and the magic they bring to our streets.

Busking Unbarred sees pub-goers receive a special code with every individual purchase of Tullamore Dew that allows a single download of a participating busker’s track. Ten acts have been chosen by the whiskey brand to be promoted and all music is available to preview on the Tullamore Dew website. The act with the most downloads will also be given the opportunity to record in a professional recording studio.

Busking is a huge tradition in Ireland and to promote its Irish roots, on St. Patrick’s Day no less, Tullamore Dew organised for buskers to give surprise performances at selected bars across London, Leeds and Edinburgh to celebrate the day and shine the spotlight on the joy that busking brings. On a chilly Monday night, the project, and Ireland’s national holiday, were both celebrated with a special St. Patrick’s Day-themed cocktail menu and a live performance from one of the busking acts – Fergus McKay and his band, Nothing Concrete.


Presented at a special price of £7 each, courtesy of Tullamore Dew, the delicious four drink menu consisted of ‘Whiskey Swizzle’, ‘Wild Flip’, ‘The Legacy’ and ‘Irish Apple’, with all demonstrating exactly the craft and detail that the mixologists at Nightjar are known for.

McKay is a talented musician who often plays as a one man band juggling up to 15 instrumental at once. Tonight he was joined by his band in a vibrant and joyous set that was littered with Celtic folk, blues and jazz. With the drinks and entertainment wildly popular for the occasion, evident in Nightjar being packed out on a Monday night with all eyes on the stage, we’ve no doubt that the Busking Unbarred project will be just as popular in its aim to promote an increasingly restricted art form.


Nightjar, 129 City Road, EC1V 1JB


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